Having a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia can be frightening news. There may be overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety for everyone involved. The best way to ease peoples fear and anxiety from this terrible diagnosis is to ask many questions. Consult your doctor about support groups and educational seminars. Be proactive and learn about tips for caregivers which are specifically targeted to helping loved ones living with this disease. Building a good support system is crucial to adjusting to this new reality, especially if you are going to be the primary caregiver.
As the primary caregiver your life may change just as dramatically as your affected senior. You’re now responsible for financial matters, assisting with physical inabilities, emotional support, transportation needs, and many other activities of daily living. As a caregiver, it is important to realize that you do not have to do everything on your own. Create the support system and continuously re-evaluate your own stress levels. Caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s can become extremely tedious and might eventually cause resentment. Consider taking time off to prevent burnout. Hiring a professional agency may provide some respite and help ease the tension as well as give the primary caregiver time to get back on their feet and catch their breath. A caregiver who is not well cannot properly take care of someone with Alzheimer’s. Reach out to other family members, friends, religious organizations, and of course your primary care physicians to help guide you through this difficult time in your lives.
Here are a few great tips for keeping your stress levels down while caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s:
- Evaluate your seniors level of independence
- Establish a Routine for your senior based on their personal preferences
- Encourage your senior to do as much as possible to promote a sense of accomplishment
- Give plenty of support and praise their personal accomplishments
- Offer clothes that are easy to put on (less buttons)
- Provide plenty of time for your senior to accomplish their activities of daily living
- Tell your loved one what you are doing and give plenty of verbal cues so they understand
- Smile, make eye contact, and show positive body language
- Ask closed ended questions that can be answered yes or no
- Make sure you prepare yourself for repetition
There are many ways to help your senior living with Alzheimer’s. Take the time to learn what they are. The importance of establishing a consistent routine and a good support system is going to help you and your senior get through this. If you would like to learn more about possible options for care giving management, please click the link below.